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Joss Whedon's secret Shakespeare obsession

Whedon revisits a classic (and several of his favorite stars) after filming ”The Avengers”

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After wrapping production on The Avengers, writer-director Joss Whedon was supposed to go on a monthlong vacation with his wife, Kai Cole. Instead, she suggested he finally make the film version of William Shakespeare‘s Much Ado About Nothing he’d been ruminating over for years. And so he did — adapting the script, casting the film with Whedonverse alums like Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Amy Acker (Angel), Alexis Denisof (Buffy, Angel), and Sean Maher (Firefly), and shooting the self-funded indie in secret over 12 days at his Santa Monica home. (Production ended Oct. 23, and Whedon says it will be ready for spring 2012 film festivals.) ”This is the best vacation I’ve ever taken,” he tells EW. ”There were moments where I went, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ But I’ve never been so well rested as I have on this movie.” Whedon, who’s hosted Shakespeare readings at his home for years, says Much Ado is ”the mother of all romantic comedies. There’s so much duplicity and pain in the middle of all this hilarity.” So how did he keep the cast from making much ado about Ado? He asked. Plus, ”everyone was scrambling to learn their lines, so no one really had time [to talk about it],” Acker says. ”I think it was mostly making sure Nathan didn’t tweet about it.”